Trip 177 - September 2, 2019 (Monday)

Mount Kobau Trails Hike

Near Osoyoos BC

Location: Southern British Columbia, approximately 30 kilometers West of the town of Osoyoos.

Liked: Two short and rather easy trails to fine lookout points. Valley and rolling hills views. No bugs.

Of Note: Long (20 km) and rough trailhead access road (regular clearance 2WD vehicles ok). A few short steep sections. Hiking poles and boots are recommended. The trails are popular. Some cow poop present. Steep unbarricaded drop-offs at Mount Kobau Lookout.

Thompson Okanagan BC Backroad Mapbook (4th edition) Trailhead Location Coordinates: Page 3 (Keremeos) F5.

Mount Kobau has two trails which share the trailhead, but go in the opposite direction: a 3.5 km Chopaka Lookout loop trail, and 1.3 km return Mount Kobau Lookout trail. The trails are quite popular, and we have met about 15 people in the few hours we spent hiking the trails on Mount Kobau. Both trails feature lookouts where one can observe the town of Osoyoos, Osoyoos Lake, and the valley. Pleasant rolling hills surround you for much of Chopaka Lookout loop trail, while Mount Kobau Lookout trail leads to very impressive views in just under 10 minutes of hiking.

The only substantial downside is a brutal forest service road, which begins at Highway 3, and goes to the trailhead. It's nearly 20 kilometers long, and, while there are few potholes and no cross-ditches, the surface is so rough, that going above 25 km/h is, for the most part, simply bone-jarring. Thus, it would take at least 45 minutes of driving to get to the trailhead from Highway 3, unless you do not mind a very rough ride, and would drive faster.

1. We are Eastbound on BC Highway 3, with Keremeos behind us, and Osoyoos further ahead.

2. Now getting ready to turn left from Highway 3 onto Kobau Lookout Forest Service Road. It's about 37 km West to Keremeos from here, and 11 km further East to Osoyoos.

3. The beginning of Kobau Lookout FSR. Coordinates: N 4905064 W 11935647. Elevation: 712 meters.

4. Kobau Lookout FSR is rough and long.

Kobau Lookout Forest Service Road

5. There is a good view at the 10.5 km mark of the forest service road.

6. Approaching the parking lot.

Kobau Lookout FSR near Osoyoos BC Canada

7. Arriving to Mount Kobau parking area. It took 19.7 km and 1,105 m in elevation gain to get here from Highway 3. Coordinates: N 4906794 W 11940415. Elevation: 1,817 meters.

8. The trails start on the left side of the parking lot.

9. We first hiked Chopaka Lookout loop trail, which is 3.5 km long.

Osoyoos Hiking - Mount Kobau Trails

10. It's a pleasant hike through rolling hills, with little elevation change.

Hiking in Osoyoos - Chopaka Lookout loop trail on Mount Kobau

11. Approximately 390 meters from the start of the trail, there is this peculiar concrete pipe by the trail.

12. Very interesting.

13. What is this thing? Coordinates: N 4906577 W 11940428. Elevation: 1,831 meters.

14. In addition to the mysterious concrete pipe, this spot features a neat view.

15. Town of Osoyoos as seen from this location with much zoom.

16. Moving on, rolling hills surround us again.

17. It really is a very pleasant hike.

18. Arriving at Chopaka Lookout, 1.7 km from the trail start.

19. A fine valley below.

20. With some zoom.

Here is our video of the views from this location.

21. The trail then briefly goes through a stand of trees...

22. ...and, at the 3 km mark, arrives to a tower. Coordinates: N 4906886 W 11940537. Elevation: 1,864 meters.

23. There is nothing to see here but the tower itself. It's a fine-looking tower, and it comes with two prominently displayed warnings: "your presence has been detected, you are being monitored", and "extreme hazard, tower unsafe, keep back 200 meters" (though the trail passes by much closer).

24. Continue on the road for the next 500 meters.

25. Make a right turn at this intersection, and you would complete the loop and arrive to the parking lot within a few minutes.

26. Next is Mount Kobau Lookout trail.

27. It's really short - took us less than ten minutes to get to the top, after tackling a moderately steep hill lined up with some burned trees further on.

28. The views of Osoyoos Lake, the town of Osoyoos, the hills, and the valley from the lookout are very impressive. Just watch for steep unbarricaded drop-offs. The photos are left-to-right.

Here is our video of the views from this location.

More videos are on our YouTube Channel.

The access road is long and rough, but the trails are easy, and the views are good. Recommended.


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